Let’s be honest. There are many people out there who are less than thrilled about visiting the dentist. Most people would not rank visiting their dentist up there on a list of things they love to do. While some people may feel inconvenienced about visiting the dentist, other people are downright fearful of going. You may be one of them. Some people who avoid visiting the dentist do so out of fear or anxiety. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, there are some strategies you can try for a stress-free visit to the dentist office.
- Bring headphones! I suggested this to a friend who is anxious during her dental visits. She thought this would be perceived as rude by the dentist or staff. Absolutely not! Your dentist wants you to be as calm and comfortable as possible and if listening to calming music helps you, please feel free to bring your headphones and your music player of choice. I’m thinking that the sounds you would hear at a spa may relax you, like gentle waves or other nature sounds. Or maybe your favorite country music, heavy metal music, or rap music turned up full blast would do just the trick to help distract you from your surroundings! Whatever suits your fancy is just fine. Some patients like listening to an audio book while having dental work done. Losing yourself in a great story is a fantastic way to make the time in the dental chair fly by!
- Bring a blanket. Some patients find great comfort in having a warm, cozy blanket from home over them during dental procedures. Just toss one in a tote bag and if the mood strikes, you’ll be able to cover up with a familiar piece of home.
- Bring moral support. Having a friend or loved one nearby in the waiting room can bring a sense of calm to patients who are fearful.
- Ask about sedation options. Did you know you can request nitrous oxide (more commonly known as laughing gas) for any procedure? If you’d like to have nitrous oxide during a cleaning appointment if that would help you to feel calmer and more relaxed, you can! Speak up and talk to your hygienist or dentist about your interest in sedation and they can go over all of your options. From nitrous oxide to IV sedation, there are many ways to help make you more at ease during your appointment.